Mittwoch, 17. Dezember 2014

8 March: Helping the victims is not the same as ending violence against women

1 December 2014. A World to Win News Service. The following statement on the occasion of the International Day Against Violence Against Women (25 November) is by the 8 March Women's Organisation (Iran-Afghanistan) ( * One out of every three women experiences violence or sexual harassment in her lifetime. The perpetrator is usually a family member or someone close to her. That makes the home one of the most unsafe places in the world for women. * Every year 60 million school girls are targets of sexual harassment on the way to school or elsewhere. * 80 percent of the human beings trafficked globally are women and girls who are trafficked for the express purpose of sexual exploitation. * At least 60 million girls are "missing" from various populations, mostly in Asia, as a result of infanticide, neglect or sex-selected abortion. * Between a 100 million and 140 million women and girls alive today have been genitally mutilated. * Over 60 million girls are sexually abused as child brides on a world scale today. This list could go on and on, but enough is enough! Enough of such statistics! As horrifying as these simple figures may be, they depict only a small part of the reality of the war that is going on against women on a world scale. They cannot show the endless moments full of anxiety experienced by women in every walk of life and corner of society. If these numbers are now being talked about, it is because we have been fighting to break the silence; because we no longer want to be silent, "decent" and "loving" victims; because we don’t want our bodies to be commodities for the political, economic and religious interests of the ruling powers or even individual male sexual desire. Sometimes we are forced to remain covered with a veil to indicate our modesty, and at other times our bodies are used to sell merchandise or sold outright. We know well that as long as there is someone to buy sex, our exploitation will continue. In Iraq, Daesh has been selling our Yazidi and Christian sisters as war booty, just like 1,400 years ago, in the slave market of Mosul. Our sisters in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and so many other countries are on sale in "modern" slave markets called "red light districts". We understand these are different forms of the same male chauvinism. We Middle Eastern women are especially familiar with the various kinds of religious backward forces and theocratic rulers, and are witnessing more nakedly barbaric forms of violence based on Sharia law. At the same time, we are also familiar with the imperialist wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere, where women have been more directly the targets of gunfire and bombardment and the victims of refugee camps, rape, insecurity and poverty. Above all they are subject to the sell-outs and compromises among the imperialists and regional reactionaries. In Iran, the Islamic Republic, the first and the role model of the backward fundamentalist forces in the region, a regime synonymous with the subjugation of women and the compulsory wearing of the hijab (headscarf) in particular, is increasingly closing even the smallest openings through which women can participate in the life of society and eliminating them from the political, social and economic scenes. The Islamic Republic has intensified its attacks against women and is using its armed security police to make sure that they are covered and acting "decently", and keep them out of sport centres. It is driving working women out of jobs and social life, keeping them at home and using them as incubators. At the same time it is implementing the brutal Sharia law of Qesas (retaliation) to execute rebellious women such as Reyhaneh Jabari. (The woman executed a month ago because in an act of self-defence she killed an intelligence agent who intended to rape her). Furthermore, the regime is the force behind the recent acid attacks on so-called "bad-hijab" (insufficiently covered) women, in order to make society increasingly more insecure for women and close its door to them. This is the reason why we believe that domestic and social violence against women would not be able to express themselves without state violence. Women should also fight back and launch their struggle against anti-women policies and women’s oppression. And through the course of these struggles we should learn more about the oppression of women and its origins and unite with others and understand how to eliminate it. All women, beginning from when they are a female embryo and continuing when they are old, in the entire world and in all its virtual and real spaces such as bedrooms and offices, universities and sport centres, and at any time, are threatened by violence. All women are the direct or indirect victims of the inherent, organized and systematic violence of the patriarchal capitalist system, a system that cannot continue to live without upholding and defending male superiority over females in all economic, social and domestic spheres. So it imposes an all-round, brutal and at the same time quiet war against women. But helping the victims is not the same as ending violence against women. There is no need to prove it. We women are the victims of the world capitalist system commanded by the quest for profit and super profit, a system that wants us to be quiet victims. They also do their best and spend their resources to train their military, political, judicial and religious representatives, and also husbands, fathers and brothers, so that with their violence in various forms they can chain the rebellious "slaves". But we have not been obedient victims in this war and we will not be. As revolutionary women, we have enough experience, inspiration, anger and courage so that we can stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters all over the world and eventually end this unjust war against women. We have scientific and liberating theories to rely on and help our sisters all over the world become conscious and organized and join the political struggle. We know that this violence will not disappear without the complete liberation of women. The subjugation of women does not come from "women's nature," nor does the violence come from "men's nature". The relationship between men and women is a product of the patriarchal class societies, including the capitalist system, that must be overthrown to put an end to male ownership of women. With high revolutionary aims, we must build a world where women, without any obstacles or fear, are the active part of the dynamic wheel of society and the respect for human beings is institutionalized, where no man and no institution has the power or opportunity to oppress others. Women can and must break the chains of oppression and exploitation in such a way that no-one will be able to tie them again around the foot or neck of any woman and anybody at all.

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